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How to get a DBS Certificate when you're a nanny?

A DBS Certificate is without a doubt the most important document any good childcare professional should have and any responsible childcare agency should request.

How do I apply to get a DBS check?

What does DBS stand for?

It stands for Disclosure and Barring Service.

What is a DBS Check?

A DBS check is a way for a future employer to check a person’s criminal records to make safer recruitment decisions, depending on the level of check requested they check:

  • police records of convictions, cautions, reprimands and warnings.

  • Information from the list held under the Section 142 of the Education Act 2002 Children Barred List information, Adult Barred List information.

There are different types of DBS which one should a nanny get?

There are four types of DBS.

  1. Basic DBS, (anyone over the age of 16 can ask for a Basic DBS),

  2. Standard DBS (only companies can request this information),

  3. Enhanced DBS (only companies can request this information).

  4. Enhanced with Barred Lists DBS check (only companies can request this information).

A good nanny agency will typically ask a nanny to provide them with an Enhanced DBS Certificate (Enhanced with Barred Lists DBS check).

I am a nanny, can I apply for a DBS check myself?

Anyone can apply for a Basic DBS check themselves.

However, if you're a nanny, you need the Enhanced DBS check which you can only get through your agency or your employer (through an umbrella body).

How much does an Enhanced DBS cost?

Since April 2022, the fee has been reduced to £38.

How do I get a DBS?

The nanny agency or your employer (through an umbrella body or organisation) will have to request the information for you and it will start the process.

How do I apply to get a DBS Check?

Step 1.

Ask your nanny agency or your employer (through an umbrella body or organisation) for an application form.

Step 2.

Fill in the form and provide the documents requested. You’ll have to pay the fee (£38) before submitting the form.

Step 3.

The form will then be automatically submitted to the agency or your employer again for approval.

Step 4.

You should then get from your employer (through an umbrella body) or nanny agency a document proving that a DBS Check has been requested.

Step 5.

You should receive the Enhanced DBS Certificate by mail soon after.

It should then take up anywhere from 24 hours to five days to get your Enhanced DBS check.

You will receive your Enhanced DBS by mail at your home address.

How long does a DBS last?

Nanny agencies will typically accept a DBS certificate that is within three years of the issue date, whereas Ofsted will only accept a certificate that is within three months of the issue date.

What is the DBS Udpate Service?

The DBS Update Service is an online subscription service. It can serve two purposes:

  1. it lets you keep your DBS up-to-date and

  2. it allows any potential employer to carry out a status check online with your permission.

Only Standard DBS and Enhanced DBS checks can be kept up-to-date through the Update Service.

Do I have to pay for the Update Service?

Yes. You'll need to pay £13/year. You can opt for automatic renewal.


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